The Bush administration’s undercover relationships with owners of mainstream media corporations like Fox News, ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and others led to the intimidation of news reporters, who failed to report the truth about the U.S. invasion of Iraq. In fact, the corporate media played a major role in promoting the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March, 2003. On the basis of misleading or fabricated evidence, President George W. Bush manipulated the American public into rallying around his decision to invade Iraq, a country that had never invaded or threatened to invade the U.S.
Historically, the media has served as the government’s watchdog that keeps citizens sufficiently informed of the actions of their government, so that democratic participation is possible. The media are supposed to hold our elected officials and government employees responsible for their actions and accountable to the citizens who elected them. However, in the run-up to the Iraq War, President Bush relied on his network of media cronies to present false rationales for the invasion of Iraq. By cherry-picking the intelligence, making misleading or false statements, exploiting the fear instilled in people by the 9/11 attacks, and labeling dissent as unpatriotic. Thus, the mainstream media, whose charge it is to keep the American people informed, failed miserably at their job.
The run-up to the Iraq War consisted of claims that Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Although this claim was eventually proven fraudulent, President Bush announced in his 2003 State of the Union Address that Iraq was pursuing 550 pounds of “yellow cake” refined uranium, a material used for nuclear enrichment, from Africa and that Saddam had purchased high-strength aluminum tubes for nuclear weapon production. Both claims had been disputed prior to the President’s announcement, and both turned out to be false.
Why isn’t the media exposing more of these blatant falsehoods? Because of media consolidation– the majority of mainstream media, 75%, are owned by five major corporations, including General Electric, Viacom, News Corporation, Time Warner Cable/AOL, and Disney. What other lies have the mainstream media covered up, and what other vital information have they buried?
Dadge, D. (2006). The war in Iraq and why the media failed us. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.
Perry, S. (2003, July 30). The Bush administration’s top 40 lies about war and terrorism. Minneapolis City Pages, Retrieved from www.commondreams.org
Propaganda pundits and the corporate media. (2010). Free Press, Retrieved from www.freepress.net
Student Researchers: Jenn Brandi, Lauren Connell, Jenna Placke
Faculty Evaluator: Dr. Mo Hannah, Siena College